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Thread: My battery died yesterday...

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    My battery died yesterday...

    My battery died yesterday, and it went down with a vengeance. I have a lot of experience with batteries-probably have 17 in service at the present time, but this experience was new. I rode the ÔÇÿ09F800GS the 3.5 miles to the Post Office, was in and out in 2 minutes and it was over.
    I turned the key, the instruments made their sweep, hit the start button and the screen went blank and reset the clock to 12:00. This caught me by surprise as I had just ridden the bike and it was fine. I had the tools with me to get at the battery so I took the covers off to see if a connection had come loose. As all was fine I called my brother for a jump and while waiting I pushed the bike out of the way. My brother arrived with cables and a ÔÇ£donorÔÇØ battery and when hooked up did nothing. We changed to direct to the car and the bike started fine but when the cables were disconnected the bike immediately died.
    A call to the local dealer (Dunbar Eurosports) suggested that if it was a battery failure that had enough surface charge to cycle the electronics but the ÔÇ£CanbusÔÇØ system saw the voltage as not right, it would not let it start and run. I thought I was doing pretty good by having the maintenance charger lead out so I could move with a dead battery (and a ÔÇ£donerÔÇØ), and still maybe so but not with what happened to this battery. So if you see symptoms like this, itÔÇÖs time for the trailer-or a battery swap-out. The battery in the bike that has gone this kind of bad wonÔÇÖt let it run.
    While on the trailer I took it to the dealer who confirmed the battery was bad and fixed me up with a new battery. The battery was about 1.5 years old so it was covered by warranty . Hopefully this will help others if they see this condition. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    My battery died yesterday, and it went down with a vengeance. I have a lot of experience with batteries-probably have 17 in service at the present time, but this experience was new. I rode the ÔÇÿ09F800GS the 3.5 miles to the Post Office, was in and out in 2 minutes and it was over.
    I turned the key, the instruments made their sweep, hit the start button and the screen went blank and reset the clock to 12:00. This caught me by surprise as I had just ridden the bike and it was fine. I had the tools with me to get at the battery so I took the covers off to see if a connection had come loose. As all was fine I called my brother for a jump and while waiting I pushed the bike out of the way. My brother arrived with cables and a ÔÇ£donorÔÇØ battery and when hooked up did nothing. We changed to direct to the car and the bike started fine but when the cables were disconnected the bike immediately died.
    A call to the local dealer (Dunbar Eurosports) suggested that if it was a battery failure that had enough surface charge to cycle the electronics but the ÔÇ£CanbusÔÇØ system saw the voltage as not right, it would not let it start and run. I thought I was doing pretty good by having the maintenance charger lead out so I could move with a dead battery (and a ÔÇ£donerÔÇØ), and still maybe so but not with what happened to this battery. So if you see symptoms like this, itÔÇÖs time for the trailer-or a battery swap-out. The battery in the bike that has gone this kind of bad wonÔÇÖt let it run.
    While on the trailer I took it to the dealer who confirmed the battery was bad and fixed me up with a new battery. The battery was about 1.5 years old so it was covered by warranty . Hopefully this will help others if they see this condition. Gary
    To avoid the "Sudden Death Syndrome" I installed one of these http://odysseybatteries.com/batteries.htm
    07 R1200R - 75 R90/6 - 67 R50/2 - 75 R90S
    1983 Suzuki GS1100E
    2007 Honda CRF450X

  3. #3
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m249joe View Post
    To avoid the "Sudden Death Syndrome" I installed one of these http://odysseybatteries.com/batteries.htm
    Yeah-I'm familiar with the sudden death, just not the battery that went bad not letting me do a parallel "jump around". The odyssey link directs to a Deka battery for the F800. I've actually had pretty good luck with Deka batteries. Thanks, Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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    They do not have a drop in fit for my R1200R so I purchased one that was close in size. With slight modifications it fits in. Here's a link where someone explains it.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320214

    Perhaps you can do the same. The appeal of the Odyssey is that they fail slowly at the end of the batteries life. You will notice longer slower engine cranking... You have to realize this or you will be stranded. Way better then the sudden death syndrome IMHO.
    07 R1200R - 75 R90/6 - 67 R50/2 - 75 R90S
    1983 Suzuki GS1100E
    2007 Honda CRF450X

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by m249joe View Post
    They do not have a drop in fit for my R1200R so I purchased one that was close in size. With slight modifications it fits in. Here's a link where someone explains it.

    http://www.advrider.com/forums/showthread.php?t=320214

    Perhaps you can do the same. The appeal of the Odyssey is that they fail slowly at the end of the batteries life. You will notice longer slower engine cranking... You have to realize this or you will be stranded. Way better then the sudden death syndrome IMHO.
    There you go-hit the nail right on the head. Thanks for digging up that thread for me to read. Supposedly the replacement battery (warranty) is a different manufacturer. 1.5 years is a little thin IMO. Next time something like the Odyssey. BTW welcome to the forums. Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
    Part of the Forum Threadside Assistance Program

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    not so retired henzilla's Avatar
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    At least you were near civilization! Still sucks

    I had one in my '07 GSA die as mentioned with about four months of service...and I rode it all four months without an issue. I was on RR 170 along the Rio Grande in Big Bend. A dual batteried Diesel pickup that came by after a few hours couldn't light it up.
    Luckily they sent help to pick me up a few hours later right before sunset or I would have been sleeping with my eyes open along the Mexican border
    Exide lost me after that.
    Steve Henson
    SABMWRA MOA Club#62's Flat Fixer/ current forum moderator
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    Benchwrenching PGlaves's Avatar
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    The battery in my F650 did the same thing. Broken connection internal to the battery was my eventual diagnosis. What dismayed me about the issue was that with a jump start the bike started right up but would not run when the jumper cables were disconnected. Given the state of the battery the bike would not run on alternator power.

    The lesson in this is that unlike the olden days with most wet cell batteries, when if your battery shot craps you could bump start or jump start the bike and ride home, in this case I couldn't. Which means it is a really good idea to replace your battery before this happens to you because if it happens it becomes trailer time.
    Paul Glaves - "Big Bend", Texas U.S.A
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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by PGlaves View Post
    The battery in my F650 did the same thing. Broken connection internal to the battery was my eventual diagnosis. What dismayed me about the issue was that with a jump start the bike started right up but would not run when the jumper cables were disconnected. Given the state of the battery the bike would not run on alternator power.

    The lesson in this is that unlike the olden days with most wet cell batteries, when if your battery shot craps you could bump start or jump start the bike and ride home, in this case I couldn't. Which means it is a really good idea to replace your battery before this happens to you because if it happens it becomes trailer time.
    I still expect 3 years of no trouble whatsoever from a battery. Anything past that is gravy. As this original battery was only 1.5 years old and with no hint of trouble, it wasn't on my mind that it's time might be up. I'd hate to think it's battery time with 18 months on a battery. My lesson in this is if I hit the start button and the display resets-it's trailer time-no sense looking for anything else. BTW Paul, do you remember when you could check for plate separation with a VOM? Gary
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
    2009 F800GS 1994 TW200
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    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    I still expect 3 years of no trouble whatsoever from a battery.
    Gary, that is a short life span considering it does not get all that hot in MA.

    I've been using FLA batteries and the ones in my airheads have failed in the 9th year. They did give me warning, but since I can push start those, I wasn't worried.

    As for my oilheads, I'm not at all impressed with so-called MF VRLA batteries. Mine failed in the 5th year!!! MF VRLA batteries were made for those who are lazy and clueless about batteries IMO. The FLA batteries in my cars last 16+ years, but I look after them. East Penn makes a group 48 battery in FLA and AGM...I chose the FLA.

  10. #10
    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by GlobalRider View Post
    Gary, that is a short life span considering it does not get all that hot in MA.
    3 years is sorta the number here in New England and I try to keep expectations reasonable.

    I've been using FLA batteries and the ones in my airheads have failed in the 9th year. They did give me warning, but since I can push start those, I wasn't worried.
    It's only been in recent years that I have become aware of the difference between "southern" and "northern" battery construction-makes sense that the difference exists.

    As for my oilheads, I'm not at all impressed with so-called MF VRLA batteries. Mine failed in the 5th year!!! MF VRLA batteries were made for those who are lazy and clueless about batteries IMO. The FLA batteries in my cars last 16+ years, but I look after them. East Penn makes a group 48 battery in FLA and AGM...I chose the FLA.
    I do what I can to keep the batteries up as long as possible including rotating them through the machinery in kind of a most important status positioning. I have some in use now-group 31 size-that are from 7 to 9 years old. East Penn=Deka and I have found the local distributor and despite them being a PITA to deal with, I like the batteries. For the deep cycle, the Trojan brand has been good. As you said, they do require care. For reasons in previous posts-there is no push starting on the new bikes. I do however have some engines that need no voltage to run-diesel.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    Unfunded content provider tommcgee's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    3 years is sorta the number here in New England and I try to keep expectations reasonable.
    I always get at least five years out of (nothing special) batteries, not far away from you.

    One of the bike batteries did die this winter after 4 years. First time for so short a life.
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    Cam Killer marchyman's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    It's only been in recent years that I have become aware of the difference between "southern" and "northern" battery construction-makes sense that the difference exists.
    FLA: Flooded Lead Acid, i.e. batteries where you can add water and check the specific gravity of the electrolite. Also known as "wet" batteries.

    MF VRLA: Maintenance Free Valve Regulated Lead Acid, i.e. Gel or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries.

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    Outlander Omega Man's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by marchyman View Post
    FLA: Flooded Lead Acid, i.e. batteries where you can add water and check the specific gravity of the electrolite. Also known as "wet" batteries.

    MF VRLA: Maintenance Free Valve Regulated Lead Acid, i.e. Gel or AGM (Absorbed Glass Mat) batteries.
    Yes, but apparently batteries designated for the south and the heat/hotter climates do better than the usual that are used in a cooler area. I've had batteries last all winter only to croak in the springtime. I think one of the threads brought it up specifically referencing batteries purchased at Walmart. I've never been one to us a hydrometer on a battery due to the mess and that I don't have acid in stock. If the water is low I'll add distilled.
    "Well they say.. time loves a hero but only time will tell.. If he's real, he's a legend from heaven If he ain't he was sent here from hell" Lowell George
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    Alps Adventurer GlobalRider's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by Omega Man View Post
    Yes, but apparently batteries designated for the south and the heat/hotter climates do better than the usual that are used in a cooler area.
    Its not a matter of battery design; an AGM is an AGM.

    Its a matter of charging the type of battery correctly based on temperature.

    The trouble with any SLA VLRA battery is, when they are overcharged which easily happens in a hot climate, one cannot replenish the electrolyte.

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    Quote Originally Posted by m249joe View Post
    To avoid the "Sudden Death Syndrome" I installed one of these http://odysseybatteries.com/batteries.htm
    does not appear to be one designed for the F650GS.

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